Now that my psych study blog has been taken down I'd like to talk about, and expand upon, my favourite topic, that of group dynamics. This subject seems even more important now as I delve into the group behaviour/thinking required for people to vote for Trump. But I must not get ahead of myself.

I want to start at the start, my earliest experience with a group dynamic and move through various encounters with groups, through my union experience and culminating in the topic I wrote my essay on, the group dynamics of the Melbourne Spoken Word scene.

No discussion of group dynmaics would really be complete without reference to ones family. It is both the first group we are exposed to and it is undoubtedly the most important. A bad family experience can ruin people for life, of course the opposite applies, a good family/group dynamic can produce a functioning, well balanced person. Any counsellor or psychoanalyst worth their salt will begin with an investigation of their client's family history. It is my belief that most of a persons behaviour can be traced back to the family situation that they experienced between birth and the age of about seven.

I have written before about the agony of primary school. A time when we are starting to learn to interact with others outside of our family. I'm happy with a piece I wrote about this time called "Pam and June" In my opinion we must never underestimate the importance of this period of our lives. During our primary school years we are delicate, ultra impressionable beings. I have seen this with my daughters. It is during these years that you can infect your children with anything, such is the esteem that children hold their parents. It is no coincidence that parents with strong religious beliefs often produce children with the same religous beliefs. If their parents are into bike riding or snow skiing, it's a safe bet that their kids will be too. If the parents are into drugs or tattoos, good chance the kids will go down that path. Same with politics, right wing parents rarely produce "lefties" and vice versa unless a child totally revolts against their parents.

Perhaps the saddest, most destructive parenting is when a parent makes a child dependent on them. I have seen this first hand in my immeadiate family and with a young girl I had a brief affair with. In both cases, the mother, created a situation where they convinced their children that they were incapable of existing without their mother. The mother would do so many things for their children. When a parent does this they are in effect saying to their children, "You are incapable, I will do this for you" The child accepts that they are not grown up enough to undertake all of lifes tasks and that they "need" their mum just to survive. The mother, in both cases, lived a spectacularly banal life and the only thing that gave any meaning to their lives was the fact that their children were utterly dependent on them.

I go so far as to say that this form of parenting is child abuse as is infecting a child with your religion or political dogma.